Angler Lea Anne Powell caught the fish of a lifetime.
She was fishing on Texas’s O.H. Ivie Lake in February when she caught a huge largemouth bass. The International Game Fish Association just confirmed her catch, saying Powell has earned herself a world record for catching the biggest largemouth bass in the women’s 12-pound line class. The previous fish caught in this category was almost 3 pounds lighter.
The IGFA offers various line classes, including 4 pounds, 8 pounds, 12 pounds and 16 pounds. Powell told local news station KETK that she was using a 10-pound Seaguar Red Label line, which actually tests up to 12 pounds — as proven by her accomplishment. Basically, the line weight determines the size of the fish that can be caught.
Powell was accompanied by her friend, professional fishing guide Dalton Smith, when she caught the bass. On the first day of their fishing trip, she caught a fish that was more than 10 pounds. On their second day out, she was trying to use an underwater sonogram tool called LiveScope. The big bass was hooked 45 feet from the boat and 15 feet down.
“If anybody knows fishing at all, that’s a very hectic situation,” Powell told KETK. “Anytime I would get her close to the boat, she would start taking off and kept nosing down so I was having to adjust the drag when she would take off running.”
In this Let’s Talk Fishing podcast, she describes the entire experience in detail, including her battle with the fish. It includes some jargon, but you’ll get the idea.
Once they got the fish on the boat, they took it to a local gas station and RV park to get it weighed on an IGFA-certified scale.
“Y’all. I upgraded again. This time with a 12.03lber!!! So close to the share lunker we have been after! This man knows his stuff,” Powell posted on her Instagram page. “We’ve had such a blast fishing together the past few days! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the season produces.”
You can see Powell’s excitement in real time on her Instagram here as she eagerly takes her fish to be weighed. And now, after a three-month application process, she has the official seal of approval from the IGFA.
Powell started fishing after her parents died in 2015. It was a pastime they loved, and when she moved to the Middle East, a friend asked her to come along on a fishing trip. She discovered she had a knack for it. So she has been continuing that tradition on her own.
If you look at her social media, you’ll see that the comments include some negative remarks about her achievement. However, this woman is no stranger to breaking barriers in male-dominated fields. She used to be a race car driver, a profession in which she had trouble getting people to believe in her because she was a woman, she told Crash Jewelry.
So, she’s used to the criticism and doesn’t let it get her down.
“For every no I’m getting told and every word of discouragement, it pushes me and drives me to go harder and go faster and deeper into my tournaments,” she told KETK. “You can’t make a record, you can’t catch a fish unless you have a line in the water and do what you can to not let any negativity get you down. Turn those negatives into positives and let them motivate you to get out there and fish and just catch ’em up!”
For as for the largemouth bass, it was released back into the lake, which is known for its large-sized fish. And if you’d like to support women who fish and compete for world records, check out the International Women’s Fishing Association.